Aphasia in a bilingual user of British signlanguage and english: Effects of cross-linguistic cues( )

Cogn Neuropsychol. 2005 Sep;22(6):719-36. doi: 10.1080/02643290442000266.


This paper is a single case investigation of "Maureen," a Deaf woman who was bilingual in British Sign Language (BSL) and English, and who had aphasia following a left-hemisphere CVA. Input Investigations revealed that comprehension of British Sign Language was severely impaired. The presence of semantic errors, and comparable difficulties in English, suggested that the problem arose, at least in part, from a central semantic deficit. This was also supported by the results of a BSL lexical judgement task, showing that she could differentiate real BSL signs from minimally related nonsigns. Maureen was completely unable to sign, but produced occasional English spoken words, particularly as echolalic translations of BSL signs. This observation was investigated in assessments of cued English naming. These showed that Maureen could be cued to produce English spoken nouns (but not verbs) by the provision of the corresponding BSL sign. In contrast, gesture cues had no effect. This cueing effect with signs is informative about the nature of the bilingual language system, and suggests that Maureen may be able to exploit direct (nonsemantic) links between her BSL and English lexicons.